Number of tourists hitting Las Vegas in April flat at 3.34 million

Tourists pass by the Flamingo with Caesars Palace in the background Thursday, April 28, 2011.

Visitor volume in Southern Nevada was flat in April, but a 6.9 percent increase in average daily room rate has some analysts encouraged.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported 3.34 million visitors for the month, a 0.5 percent increase over April 2012’s 3.32 million. The average daily room rate increased to $115.90.

Convention attendance climbed 15.1 percent to 477,275 for the month, with three big shows rotating into Southern Nevada from last year.

Among the shows that were in town this year were the International Sign Association (19,500 attendees), the International Security Conference (17,000) and the International Carwash Association (6,000).

Bill Lerner, a gaming analyst with Las Vegas-based Union Gaming, said the slight increase in visitation makes up for the dip in gaming revenue collected in April reported earlier today by the state Gaming Control Board.

“This is relatively consistent with the visitation numbers as conventioneers generally don’t play baccarat but do play other casino games and usually spend relatively freely throughout the property, particularly when they are using expense accounts,” Lerner said in a report issued today. “All in, the visitation numbers paint an encouraging picture, and room rate trends for the second quarter are off to a good start.”

Citywide occupancy remained flat for the month, up 0.5 percentage points to 87 percent. Motel occupancy was up 4 points to 63.7 percent, and weekend occupancy was up 2.6 points to 95.3 percent, indicative of stronger independent tourist travel.

For the year to date, visitation was down 0.3 percent to 13.04 million and citywide occupancy was up 0.6 percentage points to 84.3 percent. Convention attendance was up 3.8 percent to 2.12 million and the average daily room rate was up 2.9 percent to $112.65.

Visitor volume appears to have stabilized in Laughlin and Mesquite.

Visitation to Lauglin is down 3.2 percent for the year to 696,297 while the Mesquite count is up 0.1 percent to 368,414. The average daily room rate is up 1.4 percent for the year in Laughlin to $42.88 while the Mesquite rate is up 18.4 percent to $64.91.

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